Something happened at the park yesterday.

I had been having a rough day and decided to bring my daughter and her friend to the park down the street. We only had an hour to stay there because my daughter had soccer practice at 5 o’clock. With 20 minutes left to play, the girls ran up to me and asked if they could go fishing in the pond with their friend from school. The friend was with her mom and little brother. I told the girls that they could do whatever they wanted with their 20 minutes, so if they wanted to fish that was fine with me.

At this point I think it’s important to share the fact that although I know how to fish I don’t like to. I am the girl who picks up worms off the driveway after it has rained and almost causes the occasional car crash for a turtle crossing the road. I honor and appreciate the life in all living things. Well maybe not ALL… I don’t like mosquitoes, ticks, flys & other such pests, but I still save spiders and mice if I can. Anyway, I love to eat fish but not to catch it.
So here we are standing at the railing at the edge of the concrete slab that allows the kids to get right up next to the water. I, of course, was holding the book I had been reading and looking through emails on my cell phone. I had no intention of getting involved with the whole debacle.
The mom produced three fishing poles out of her van. There were two small ones for the kids with rubber fish at the end and one big one for her. It was obvious to me that the kids were just going to cast and reel. She seemed to be doing the same because she only had a fake worm at the end of her line and a plastic bobber.
None of them knew how to cast at all. It was like watching a sea lion throw an apple pie. No offense to sea lions… At one point my daughters friend tried to use the big fishing pole. She got the line caught in a tree and we had to snip it and put a new worm at the end. This is when the mom proudly produced a tackle box full of brand-new shiny, never been used hooks, bobbers and glittery colorful fake worms. She was beaming like a kid in a candy store. She had no idea what she was doing. Then she told me, “I could never use real worms. I can’t touch them. (She made a disgusted face.) I don’t look much like a girly girl but I really am.” She was right. She most certainly did not look like a girly girl. She was wearing some old navy blue capris made from sweatshirt material and an oversized mauve t-shirt with four cartoon pictures of the Hulk’s face on it. At that point it made sense to me why we never got to know each other. She proceeded to put a hook at the end of her line and stuck a fake rubber worm at the end. Then she cast, in true pie throwing fashion.
About one minute later there was a tug. She immediately started screaming and freaking out, jumping around and almost letting go of the fishing pole. It was resting on the edge of the railing and flopping from hand to hand. Then she exclaimed, “How did this happen?!?! I didn’t mean to catch a fish!!!”
I wish I had a picture of the look on my face. As I mentioned before I had been having a rough day. A nice stroll in the park in the beautiful sunny breeze would have been ideal. As par for the course I was stuck with gangly clueless girlie mom and her sea lion offspring. I wanted to scream, “You absolute imbecile! You’re fishing! You caught a fish because you’re FISHING!” , but I didn’t.
I took the pole. At that point the fish had gotten stuck in a branch floating in the water. I successfully reeled it in and maneuvered it from the branch. I pulled it out of the water and did what I had seen people who actually fish, do. I held the fins down against its body and squeezed to keep its mouth open. At this point I noticed its teeth. Yay. Gangly girlie mom and her sea lion offspring were screeching. The two girls who were with me were fine. I was not at all amused.
The hook was stuck inside the roof of its mouth. I had to bite the line with my teeth because there were no shiny new scissors in the candy coated tackle box. I was holding the fish and looking into the eyeball that was closest to me. I started to apologize to it for not being the best person for the job. Then again, it could have been left to Mrs. How Did This Happen, so I guess it was better off with me. Tears were coming to my eyes. I was holding a living creature, acutely aware of the fact that the more time I took trying to gingerly remove the hook from its mouth the closer it was to dying in my hand.
I composed myself. After another minute I successfully got it dislodged and threw the fish back in the water. It swam away.        
It’s a good thing that there aren’t laser beams that shoot out of my eyes. Because when girly mom told my daughter, “Your mom is the bravest woman I’ve ever known!!!” then turned to me and asked, “Are you mad at me?”, I know for a fact she’d be a goner. There’d be nothing I could do but ask, “How did this happen?!?!”
I placed the hook and accessories in her hand and told her never to fish with a hook again. Then I turned quickly and told the girls we had to go to soccer practice. I washed my hands five times before we got there and they still smelled like fish.
Moral of this story: If you don’t want to catch a fish, don’t use a hook. (Rocket science, I know.)
Stay away from stupid people at the park. You just might end up holding a fish.
4 replies
  1. Carol
    Carol says:

    Well written. I could picture the entire event take place as I was reading. It sure put a smile on my face and will for the rest of the day as I think about "girly mom" and her "sea lion offspring" and her glittery rubber worm from her new shiny tackle box catching a fish not knowing "how it happened"! 🙂


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